*warning: rant ahead*
Out of the last 90-ish days, my husband has been gone for 51.
That's over half the time. That's a lot.
It's not like he's had a whole hell of a lot of downtime when he HAS been here. For example, he worked in one capacity or another all last week, packed his bags on Saturday, and left on Sunday. He's working 10 hour days and is always fielding phone calls when he'shome.
I've dealt with the death of Urbaner's grandfather, our middle son's cry for help and subsequent hospitalization in the adolescent psychiatric unit, his grandfather's funeral, a tornado that shook the house a destroyed buildings a mile away from us, and the news that I will probably never have enough range of motion or strength in my arm to work as an EMT again - all by myself. He's been gone for all of those events....but he didn't seem to understand until I told him that those all contributed to my general stress level and my feeling totally isolated.
He doesn't seem to understand that our children NEED their dad; that he is an integral part of the family. Right now his presence is incredibly erratic and that bothers them.
He doesn't seem to understand that this thing with my breast bothers me, too. He was insistent on telling me everything would be fine and that I shouldn't worry. He didn't seem to understand that I NEED to talk about the 'what if's'...what if it ISN'T fine. What then? I NEED to talk to him about that. I'm scared. I know that it's probably nothing, but I'm still scared. He actually said ' so what if you lose a breast? If that's what happens, that's what happens'. I know he meant well, but for fucks sakes....how would he feel if I said 'Oh, so what if you lose a nut? It won't matter'. I don't think he'd like that.
It doesn't help that he's either sleeping, getting ready to go to work, working, eating dinner in some restaurant, or sleeping. Whenever I talk to him, there is always someone else in the background. I cannot tell you how much it bothers me to be trying to talk to him about things and hear some person cackling away behind him...or worse still, interrupting him. That's happened every fucking day so far. He says that he's in another room or away from them. I say I don't care, it still bothers me. I also find it incredibly annoying to be literally pulling my hair out with the kids and their behaviour, trying to talk to Urbaner about it but have him say 'I'm eating right now. Can I call you back?' or 'I'm getting ready to leave and they're waiting for me. Can we talk about this later?'. It fucking pisses me off to no end.
I have actually told him that if this continues it will be the thing that breaks the back of this marriage....and I meant it. He doesn't seem to comprehend that in 3 to 5 years, the Air Force will hand his retirement papers and a cake then wave bye-bye and tell him not to let the door hit him in the arse. If he takes care of it, this marriage has the potential to last for the rest of his life. He has made no effort to spontaneously volunteer to try to curb the TDY's and missions. He's in a position to negotiate somewhat, and he's not done that. That hurts me. I had to ask him to try not to be gone so much for the next couple of months. I can't tell you how bad that stung me.
He says he feels it too, that he's frustrated and it's not easy. Having been gone myself for periods of time, I can understand that. However, I can also understand how easy it is to forget about things when you only have yourself to care for and you get to eat out every night. It's not so easy to do when you're trying to separate two teenage boys who want to rip each other to shreds or deal with a petulant 13 year old who refuses to listen or cooperate or chastize the puppy who peed on the kitchen floor for the third time in an hour and then clean up the puddle or pick up the house after teenagers have trashed it or listen to whines about how we don't have anything to eat and why can't I go to a friend's house 5 miles away with a kid I met once for 10 minutes and why can't I go to the pool; being a turd to my brother and telling him I wish he was still in the hospital isn't a good reason to ground me and I hate you and I hate this family and this house and I wish I could live somewhere else ALL DAY. It gets really fucking old after a while when you have NO BACKUP. The boys have started acting out because they miss their dad, and I am left here to pick up the pieces.
I have tried and tried to be supportive over the years, particularly for the last 5 years. When I had the accident that nearly killed me I recovered alone. I've done my best to keep him deployable and when he deployed, to keep him there. The one time he came back was when I needed surgery to fuse my spine and was going to be in a back brace for 8 weeks. He came home, and then he left for another 6 weeks 3 days after the brace came off. I've done really well and tried really hard, but I'm about at the end of my rope and he just doesn't seem to get why.
The bottom line is that everyone feels his absence and he doesn't understand why. I NEED him. We all NEED him, and he's just not here and I can't even talk to him about it. Phone calls are simply exercises in frustration right now. That makes things even worse.
I don't know what to do.